Myanmar Military Launches Artillery Strike Near Kachin Armed Group’s HQ

By The Irrawaddy 17 September 2021

Myanmar’s military fired artillery on Wednesday night near Laiza, the headquarters of the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) in Kachin State, for no reason, said KIA information officer Colonel Naw Bu.

“We heard loud firing. There were about five rounds,” a resident of Laiza told The Irrawaddy. The firing took place around 10pm, he added.

Col. Naw Bu said that the junta launched the artillery strike even though there were no KIA attacks on regime troops on Wednesday night. Some of the shells landed near a COVID-19 quarantine center in Mai Sak Pa village, he added.

“Why did they fire when they know it is a civilian residential area? There is no KIA outpost there. It is a village,” said Col. Naw Bu.

Myanmar’s military has expanded its presence and weaponry in every township across Kachin State, including near Laiza, said the KIA.

On August 3, junta soldiers fired at least six artillery shells near Mai Sak Pa village for no reason. Some rounds landed near the village’s COVID-19 center, throwing patients into a panic.

Military tensions are also running high in Tanai Township in Kachin, with junta troops taking control of Tarong Village on the strategic Tanai-Shingbwiyang Road after days of fighting.

There have been frequent clashes between the KIA and the Myanmar military since a bilateral ceasefire broke down in 2011, although fighting stopped for two years before the February 1 coup.

Since March 11, the KIA has attacked regime troops and police stations in Kachin and northern Shan State, inflicting heavy casualties on junta forces. The military regime has responded by bringing in thousands of reinforcements, while also targeting the KIA and innocent civilians with air and artillery strikes.

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